Page 46

GC GREEN COUNTRY SCENE

THE BIG BET

Hard Rock Hotel, & Casino Tulsa has gone all in to make sure the World Series of Poker s 46-event, 13-day tournament is a memory maker and POSSIBLE moneymaker for spectators and players. By ROB HARMON Last year, quite a few Tulsans experienced something most of the world has only seen on television. For a second year in a row, they’re going to do it again at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. Since the poker boom of 2003, when Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event as an amateur, millions of new, inspired players from all over the world have anted up and put their poker faces on. Online poker rooms and casino tables have boomed. To be fair, that was 15 years ago. There’s been talk that a little bit of the luster has worn off. Fans of the game and those close to the industry might say it was the April 15, 2011, United States versus Scheinberg

46 MARCH 2018

indictment against the online poker industry — often dubbed Black Friday by the online poker community — that was the heaviest blow. However, the WSOP circuit is far from closing its tables. With the economy on a strong and steady rise, any decline in poker room attendance over the last seven years looks to be eclipsed by an explosion of tournament entries the likes of which have never been seen. Thanks to the poker gods and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, the 918’s hottest poker players are getting another seat at the table during a circuit event. Byron Long, senior manager of card games for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, has gone all in, using everything

in his arsenal to make sure the 46-event, 13-day tournament is a guaranteed memory maker. With a $1 million championship final event, it’s not just an assured moneymaker for the last player standing, but also a lot of other winners. Last year’s event saw over 7,500 entries, paying out over $2.5 million to entrants. Big names in the poker community, including the likes of Justin Gardenhire and others, will attest to the attention to detail and comfort for all the WSOP entries. “The feedback we got from the players last year,” says Long, “is that room set up and the comfort of the space we put the tournament in is the most comfortable the players have experienced. Sometimes tournaments happen on concrete floors, but being on

the Hard Rock property, the comfortable carpet flooring, the climate-controlled rooms, the 360-degree viewing of games during March Madness, for example, makes it a great place to participate in a tournament.” Long doesn’t like to brag, but he’s proud of everyone involved in the event and is sure it will be a tournament not to be missed. “The preparation that our teams at Hard Rock pulled off for last year’s event was unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. We spent a lot of time meeting players, and there were very few problems,” he says. “I attribute that directly to the preparation Hard Rock put into planning the event. We take a lot of pride in making a good

March 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 3)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 For 32 years, Preview 918 has been the best resource for disc...

March 2018 (Vol. 32, No. 3)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 For 32 years, Preview 918 has been the best resource for disc...